Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil voters give their views of the election candidates

Brazilian voters go to the polls on Sunday 3 October to elect a successor to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The two front-runners are Dilma Rousseff and Jose Serra, with former environment minister Marina Silva likely to come third.

BBC News website readers in Brazil have been reflecting on how they plan to vote in the election.

Cristiana Bertazoni, post-doctoral researcher, Sao Paulo

Cristiana will be voting for Dilma Rousseff

I am working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sao Paulo, but I will be casting my vote for Dilma Rousseff (Workers Party) at the Brazilian consulate in London.

I think this election is one of a kind in Brazilian history. The two women running for president both have a very interesting political background.

Dilma and Marina are both strong and outspoken women who, I hope, will make a difference in gender issues. Their very presence in politics and power already send a signal to all Brazilian women that we can achieve so much more.

I admire Dilma. She has been part of Lula's government since the beginning and she is doing very well. The fact that she was picked personally by Lula is a good sign that she will represent a continuation of his government.

Atalija Lima, journalist, Natal

Atalija will be voting for Jose Serra

I plan to vote for Serra because he has a good track record on education and healthcare.

I think it's really important that our next president does something about the environment. Brazil has a lot of natural resources and we need to make sure that these don't go to waste.

I'm not as excited about this election as I was the last time I voted, in 2002. At that time, there was a great feeling of hope in Brazil - it was like the Obama election. Although I voted for Lula that time, I don't think his presidency has delivered as much as we thought it would.

I won't be voting for Dilma because I don't think she's got a strong personality. She doesn't have what it takes to continue everything that Lula has done for Brazil.

Iannis Lima, tax consultant, Sao Paulo

Iannis is undecided about how he will vote

I still haven't decided who will get my vote, but at the moment I'm leaning more towards Serra or Marina. Serra has got a good political career and a very clean name, which is unusual in Brazil.

I want to choose my candidate based on policies, but at the moment all the candidates spend all their time talking about how great they are. The only policy issue that has really been discussed is education and even then the debate was very superficial.

I certainly won't vote for Dilma. She doesn't seem to be making any of her own decisions - Lula is doing all the talking for her.

There is such a different atmosphere now to in the 2002 election. Back then people were much more excited - displaying flags in their cars and talking about Lula. Now people don't seem to care - the candidates are not charismatic enough to excite the voters.

Patricia Carvalho, student, Feira de Santana

Patricia will be voting for Dilma Rousseff

I'm supporting Dilma, because I think we are going in the right direction as a country under Lula.

Millions of Brazilians have risen socially and left the poverty line, this is income distribution as never before. Lula is creating a more equal society.

Dilma will definitely continue with Lula's successful social projects. But she also has a great economic programme which aims to create more jobs and improve the infrastructure of our country.

I don't like Serra as a candidate. To me he represents conservatism and international dependence. Brazil is in a strong position and we need a leader who is willing to represent our interests.

I am very excited to be voting for the first time. I think our vote represents a collective decision of such importance. This is not just one more election, it's our chance to make things right this time.

Nayana Rocha Herzmann, teacher, Florianopolis

Nayana will be voting for Marina Silva

I'd like to vote for Marina, as I think her policies are strong. She has good ideas about how to deal with poverty and security. She also wants to clean up politics, and get rid of corruption.

Most importantly, she really cares about deforestation in the Amazon, which is a huge problem for us. I don't feel confident that Dilma cares enough about the environment. Unfortunately, because Marina is unlikely to win, I may end up voting tactically for Serra to keep Dilma out.

Although President Lula has done a lot to reduce poverty, his party hasn't really got to the roots of the problem. There's no incentive for people to work, because the poor are given so many handouts.

Felipe Santos, accountant, Sao Paulo

Felipe will be voting for Jose Serra

Jose Serra has a good record as governer, and he knows what he's doing, which is why I'm voting for him.

I don't like the way that Lula has performed as president. Yes, the economy has improved. But to be honest, the economy was improving before he got into power. He was just in the right place at the right time.

Lula has a very good image, in Brazil and abroad. But there have been so many scandals linked to his government. I want the new president to be clean - corruption has got to be dealt with.

There are so many things in Brazil that need to be addressed, the education system, security. I feel that many people here don't think seriously about the future of the country, which is why "weird" candidates like Tiririca have gained such popularity. They are like puppets for their parties who want to gain more influence in government.

Rafael Barreto, university professor, Rio de Janeiro

Rafael will be voting for Marina Silva

I will be voting for Marina on Sunday because I feel she is the only candidate who is in politics for the right reasons.

As a university professor, I feel that education and funding for research and science is very important. This is something that the current government does not support, meaning that we are losing many of our best scientists to foreign countries.

Marina is committed to reforming the education system, which is one reason I really like her as a candidate.

It's not that I think Lula has done a bad job, it's great that Brazil has become more economically stable. But we voted for Lula because we felt that he supported the workers. I think many people in Brazil feel betrayed by him because he hasn't delivered the real social change we envisaged.